"The Lady and the Unicorn" Woven Flanders Tapestry in Style For Sale
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"The Lady and the Unicorn" Woven Flanders Tapestry in Style

About

Made in 20th century The lady and the Unicorn (French: La Dame à la licorne) is the modern title given to a series of six tapestries woven in Flanders from wool and silk, from designs ("cartoons") drawn in Paris around 1500. The original is in the Musée national du Moyen Âge (former Musée de Cluny) in Paris, is often considered one of the greatest works of art of the Middle Ages in Europe. Five of the tapestries are commonly interpreted as depicting the five senses – taste, hearing, sight, smell, and touch. The sixth displays the words "À mon seul désir". The tapestry's meaning is obscure, but has been interpreted as representing love or understanding. Each of the six tapestries depicts a noble lady with the unicorn on her left and a lion on her right; some include a monkey in the scene. The pennants, as well as the armour of the Unicorn and Lion in the tapestry bear the arms of the sponsor, Jean Le Viste, a powerful nobleman in the court of King Charles VII. However, a very recent study of the heraldry appears to lend credence to another hypothesis - previously dismissed - that the real sponsor of the tapestry is Antoine II Le Viste (1470–1534), a descendant of the younger branch of the Le Viste family and an important figure at the court of Charles VIII, Louis XII and François I. The tapestries are created in the style of mille-fleurs (meaning: "thousand flowers"). The tapestries were rediscovered in 1841 by Prosper Mérimée in Boussac castle (owned at the time by the subprefect of the Creuse) where they had been suffering damage from their storage conditions. In 1844 the novelist George Sand saw them and brought public attention to the tapestries in her works at the time (most notably in her novel Jeanne), in which she correctly dated them to the end of the fifteenth century, using the ladies' costumes for reference. Nevertheless, the artefacts continued to be threatened by damp and mould until 1863, when they were brought to the Thermes de Cluny in Paris. Careful conservation has restored them nearly to their former glory.

Details

  • In the Style Of
    Romantic
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
    20th Century
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 48 in. x W 65 in. x D 2 in.H 121.92 cm x W 165.1 cm x D 5.08 cm
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    LU2423313708281
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in London, GB
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